Systemic corticosteroids for acute gout
This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of systemic corticosteroids for acute gout. The review shows that in people with gout: - systemic corticosteroids may slightly improve patients' assessment of pain and disability. However, this could have occurred by chance; - there is no precise information about side effects and complications. Only a minority of the patients treated with the steroid oral prednisolone reported minor side effects. What is gout, and what are systemic corticosteroids? Gout is a sudden, very painful joint inflammation (arthritis). It usually affects the big toe. The inflammation, which is caused by urate crystals, leads to swelling and redness of the joint, and makes it painful to move or even to touch. Systemic corticosteroids are drugs that imitate the corticosteroids that are naturally produced by your own body and may help reduce swelling, redness and pain in joints. Systemic corticosteroids come in a pill form or as an injection given by your doctor.
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